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16-year-old Driver Believed to be Huffing Before Accident

Teen driver is believed to have passed out when his car hit a security guard in high school parking lot.

The 16-year-old driver who in the parking lot of Hartland High School on May 15 is now believed to have been huffing prior to the incident, according to Livingston County Sheriff Bob Bezotte. 

The driver will be facing charges of reckless driving causing serious injury, possession of marijuana and use of an inhalant. The 15-year-old passenger will be facing charges of aiding and abetting, according to Bezotte. 

According to Bezotte, Crime Stoppers informed the sheriff that the two teenagers in the car, the driver and a 15-year-old passenger had sprayed a household cleaner onto a rag and inhaled it.

Huffing, is used as a way to produce a high using cheap and legal products that someone can huff or inhale. Huffing produces similar results to intoxication including confusion, dizziness and the inability to coordinate movements.

“It was a household cleaner product from an aerosol can, they were huffing,” Bezotte said. “The driver of the vehicle, a 16-year-old, passed out at the wheel, that’s why he accelerated and couldn’t stop.”

The 15-year-old had then tried to steer the vehicle, but couldn’t reach the brake, which eventually struck Hartland High School security guard Sue Hazzard as she directed traffic leaving school grounds.

“It (car) went up over the curb over the other side, through the parking lot and well into the field before the vehicle came to a stop,” Bezotte said.

Before police were on scene, Bezotte says the two teenagers hid the aerosol can under the seat and the driver convinced the passenger to say he had dropped his cell phone as the reason for the accident. 

“Once we talked to the 15-year-old, he came clean and admitted they had been huffing just prior to the accident,” Bezotte said. 

The driver was given a blood test after the accident and the sheriff’s office is still waiting for the toxicology report which will take 6-8 weeks for results.

Hazzard, who was released from the hospital, according to Bezotte, is now home healing from her injuries.

“She’s made a miraculous recovery from where she was the day of the incident, for sure,” Bezotte said.

Charlotte May 30, 2012 at 05:21 PM
That's really sad that these kids feel the need to get high. What is so problematic in a kids life to want to escape it?
Kathleen Laitila May 31, 2012 at 08:03 AM
It is time for Hartland Schools to crack down on drug enforcement at the High School and Middle Schools. Students all know this is going on and where it is going on. Students who report such activity get picked on and bullied. As parents, we are not their friends and buddies. Being their friends and buddies enables such behavior such as the recent incident ivolving Mrs. Hazzard. Teachers hosting a party with alcohol available to minors gives the wrong message to students, especially when the teached is assigned a different position and they are not immediately fired. Parents writing letters of support in her behalf indicates to me that we have a major problem. Instead of writing support letters they should be demanding she be fired from the district. Life is not always going to be easy. Parents can shield their children by looking the other way when there may be signs of drug abuse but they are not preparing them for the adult world. We need a security guard company to be hired by the school system to patrol the areas where this behavior is taking place. I am sure we can find the money to do this by cutting costs in administration and benefits that far exceed what you find in most corporations today. We are supposed to have a zero tolerance policy for drugs, lets start enforcing this policy by suspending these students permanently. We need to have these students think twice about what they are doing and take responsibility when they are found violating the drug policy.
Proud Cheer Mom May 31, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I agree with Kathleen, I have been in this district for 13 years and I have seen a decline in the last few years of how we don't punish the kids that are doing wrong, we don't want to hold them accountable, what does that say to the kids? It tells them it is okay to be bad and the school district will still allow you to attend, graduate and be involved in school activities. I also believe Kathleen is right we can find the money in the budget to get this under control before a student or community member loses their life.

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